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Supporting young carers through volunteering

17/03/2021

Sarah Waring

Client and Proposition Director

Sarah Waring, Client and Proposition Director for Quilter Private Client Advisers, has been volunteering at the Enfield Carers Centre since January 2021, providing virtual 1:1 maths homework support.

She gives us an insight into her on-going voluntary experience:

 

Why did you decide to volunteer for Carers Trust?

I took the opportunity to join the ‘volunteers list’ some time before actually volunteering. A few opportunities came through, but when I saw this particular one, I felt that it was right up my street. It was assisting a young carer on a 1 on 1 basis with their GCSE Maths studying. I did Maths at university and thought it would be a walk in the park. I soon felt otherwise when the young carer started to list the topics that she’d like help with, and I wasn’t sure whether she was speaking a foreign language! I then realised that it had been 20 years since my GCSEs, and I’d possibly need to do a little studying myself to get up to speed. The timing was right for me, with working from home instead of my usual daily commute – my evenings are relatively free in the current situation, and I felt it would be rewarding to do something like this, and also something a little different.

How did you find your experience, and what did you enjoy the most?

It was a little daunting at first. I have never ‘taught’ before, and my maths knowledge was a little rusty. I also wasn’t sure how the young carer would take to the sessions – not everyone has the same love for maths as I do! But I soon got into it and started to really enjoy it. It was clear to see that the young carer was really enthusiastic and wanting to learn, as well as incredibly intelligent. She was also appreciative of the sessions. It was really rewarding to hear that she looked forward to the sessions, and great to think that I was hopefully adding value to this person’s life. Speaking to a young person, who is so full of life, is also really uplifting – I leave the sessions feeling buoyant and full of energy.

Did you learn any new skills from your experience?

I have certainly brushed up on my maths knowledge, but also experienced new things with the young carer that I wouldn’t see in my normal day to day life.

What would be your advice for those wanting to volunteer and support young carers? 

Just to give it a go. There is not a lot to lose, and it is great to try new things, particularly during this period where life can be a little monotonous.